Thursday, October 6, 2022

How Long Is Hepatitis C Treatment

If You Notice Symptoms See A Doctor Right Away

The Truth about Hepatitis C Treatment long term Side Effects

Symptoms of hepatitis C include the following:

  • Jaundice a yellowish tone to the eyes and skin
  • Mild, chronic right belly pain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

If you believe you have been exposed to hepatitis C or notice any symptoms, visit your primary care doctor as soon as possible. If you test positive for the virus, your doctor can refer you to a hepatologist to discuss your options.

“I strongly encourage all baby boomers and others who are at high risk to get tested, even if you don’t look or feel sick,” Reau says. “If you do have hepatitis C, the earlier we discover it, the more likely we can prevent it from progressing and causing more serious damage.”

What Are The Long

75% of people who have Hepatitis C could potentially develop chronic liver disease and liver cancer. Long term liver damage can have many effects on the body, including:

  • Digestion Painful digestion, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
  • Central Nervous System Confusion, forgetfulness, disorientation, shaking, slurred speech, and even a coma
  • Circulatory System Hypertension, internal bleeding, swollen legs and abdomen, anemia, and type 2 diabetes
  • Hair, Skin, and Nails Hair loss, jaundice, and softened yellow fingernails

Contagious And Incubation Periods

The incubation periodthe time it takes for symptoms to appear after the hepatitis C virus has entered your bodyis from 2 weeks to 6 months. But not all people have symptoms when they are first infected.

You can spread the virus to someone else at any time after you are infected, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Recommended Reading: How Hepatitis C Virus Spread

Hepatitis C Treatment Today

In 2016, sofosbuvir/velpatasvir was developed as the first drug therapy to treat all hepatitis C genotypes in tablet form. The side effects are considered low . The cure rate is as high as 98 percent in those without severe liver scarring and 86 percent in those with cirrhosis.

In July 2017, sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C of all genotypes. This fixed-dose combination pill prohibits the development of the specific protein NS5A. In recent research, this troublesome protein has been associated with growth and progression of hepatitis C. In its earliest drug trials, this combination drug had a 96 to 97 percent cure rate, and hopes are high for it today.

Most recently, glecaprevir/pibrentasvir was approved in August 2017. This treatment is for adults with chronic hepatitis C genotypes 1 through 6, and treatment duration can be as little as eight weeks. Results from early trials showed that

Can A Transplant Cure Hepatitis C

2021 Hepatitis C (Hep C/HCV) Cure, Clinical Trials and ...

If you develop chronic hepatitis C and it leads to liver cancer or liver failure, you may need a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is one of the most common reasons for a liver transplant.

A liver transplant removes a damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy one. However, theres a high likelihood that the hepatitis C virus will be transmitted to the new liver in time.

The virus lives in your bloodstream, not just your liver. Removing your liver wont cure the disease.

If you have active hepatitis C, continued damage to your new liver is very likely, especially if hepatitis C remains untreated.

Recommended Reading: Can You Catch Hepatitis C From Having Intercourse

Antiviral Medication For Hepatitis C

For people with hepatitis C, the goal of treatment with antiviral medication is to prevent the virus from replicating, or copying itself, and to eliminate the virus from the bloodstream. If the hepatitis C virus has been in the body for more than six months, the infection is considered chronic. Without treatment, most people with acute hepatitis C develop the chronic form of the disease.

Your doctor decides which antiviral medicationor combination of medicationsto prescribe based on the results of a blood test called a genotype test. There are six genotypes, or strains, of the hepatitis C virus, and people with certain genotypes respond more quickly to medical treatment.

For many years, the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C consisted of the antiviral medications pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Ribavirin is taken by mouth every day, and interferon is an injection that you or a caregiver can administer once a week at home.

In 2013 and 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a group of new medications for the treatment of hepatitis C. These medications, which include sofosbuvir, are very effective and have fewer side effects than older medications, particularly interferon.

What The Cdc Recommends

Were you born between 1945 and 1965? If so, then youre a member of the Hepatitis C generation. The CDC recently recommended that all people born between during this time have a 1-time screening test for Hepatitis C. We now have new drugs that can treat and cure Hepatitis C so you should go get tested today.

The life you save may be your own! Please contact your local healthcare provider.

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Stages Of Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus affects people in different ways and has several stages:

  • Incubation period. This is the time between first exposure to the start of the disease. It can last anywhere from 14 to 80 days, but the average is 45
  • Acute hepatitis C. This is a short-term illness that lasts for the first 6 months after the virus enters your body. After that, some people who have it will get rid of, or clear, the virus on their own.
  • Chronic hepatitis C. For most people who get hepatitis C — up to 85% — the illness moves into a long-lasting stage . This is called a chronic hepatitis C infection and can lead to serious health problems like liver cancer or cirrhosis.
  • Cirrhosis. This disease leads to inflammation that, over time, replaces your healthy liver cells with scar tissue. It usually takes about 20 to 30 years for this to happen, though it can be faster if you drink alcohol or have HIV.
  • Liver cancer. Cirrhosis makes liver cancer more likely. Your doctor will make sure you get regular tests because there are usually no symptoms in the early stages.

Learn more about the stages and progression of hepatitis C.

When To Seek Medical Advice

How Can I Work on Hepatitis C Treatment

See your GP if you persistently have any of the later symptoms above, or if they keep returning. They may recommend having a blood test that can check for hepatitis C. Read more about diagnosing hepatitis C.

None of the symptoms above mean you definitely have hepatitis C, but it’s important to get them checked out.

You should also speak to your GP about getting tested if there’s a risk you’re infected, even if you don’t have any symptoms. This particularly includes people who inject drugs or have done so in the past.

Read about the causes of hepatitis C for more information about who’s at risk of having the infection.

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Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C often doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged. This means many people have the infection without realising it.

When symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for another condition. Symptoms can include:

  • flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and a high temperature
  • feeling tired all the time
  • loss of appetite

Read more about the complications of hepatitis C.

How Do My Healthcare Professional And I Decide On Treatment

Your healthcare professional will look at your health history and decide if treatment is right for you. The treatment you receive and the length of treatment may depend on:

  • how much virus is in your body
  • your genotype of hep C
  • whether you have liver damage
  • whether or not youve been treated previously

Next:

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How Do You Get Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C spreads when blood or body fluids contaminated with the hepatitis C virus get into your bloodstream through contact with an infected person.

You can be exposed to the virus from:

  • Sharing injection drugs and needles
  • Having sex, especially if you have HIV, another STD, several partners, or have rough sex
  • Being stuck by infected needles
  • Birth — a mother can pass it to a child
  • Sharing personal care items like toothbrushes, razor blades, and nail clippers
  • Getting a tattoo or piercing with unclean equipment

You canĂ¢t catch hepatitis C through:

  • Have been on long-term kidney dialysis
  • Have abnormal liver tests or liver disease
  • Have HIV
  • Were born to a mother with hepatitis C

Since July 1992, all blood and organ donations in the U.S. are tested for the hepatitis C virus. The CDC says it is now rare that someone getting blood products or an organ would get hepatitis C. That said, The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 18 get tested for Hepatitis C. If you haven’t been screened, you should consider having it done.

Learn more about the risk factors for hepatitis C.

How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed

Pin on Hep C Treatment

Many people find out by chance that they have the virus. They find out when their blood is tested before a blood donation or as part of a checkup when they advise their doctor of symptoms that may be related to hepatitis C. Some people are screened for hepatitis C because they are at higher risk of becoming infected. Often people with hepatitis C have high levels of liver enzymes in their blood.

If your doctor thinks you may have hepatitis C, he or she will talk to you about having a blood test. If the test shows hepatitis C antibodies, then you have had hepatitis C at some point. A second test can tell if you still have hepatitis C.

When blood tests show that you have hepatitis C, you may need a liver biopsy to see how well your liver is working. During a liver biopsy, a doctor will insert a needle between your ribs to collect a small sample of liver tissue to look at under a microscope. You may also have imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound, to make sure that you don’t have liver cancer.

Also Check: How To Find Out If You Have Hepatitis

What Can People Do To Help The Medications Work Best

  • Take the medications every day
  • Stay in touch with pharmacy to be sure that all refills are ready on time
  • Take the medications exactly as prescribed
  • Do not skip doses
  • Get all blood tests done on time
  • Go to all visits with providers as recommended
  • Tell the provider about all other medications that are being taken – including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements
  • Complete the entire course of medication

Ifn Monotherapy In Acute Hepatitis C

Although the short courses of standard IFN monotherapy introduced in the 1980s by Hoofnagle et al, Davis et al, and Di Bisceglie et al led to sustained improvement in liver disease and loss of virus in less than 10% of patients, these therapies were the first to cure chronic viral hepatitis.

Jaeckel et al reported that treatment with IFN alfa-2b prevented chronic infection in 98% of a group of 44 German patients with acute hepatitis C. In this study, patients received 5 million U/day of IFN alfa-2b subcutaneously for 4 weeks and then three times per week for another 20 weeks the IFN alfa-2b was well tolerated in all patients but one.

Because it has the poorest safety profile of all the HCV antiviral agents, with few exceptions PEG-IFN is no longer recommended in combination regimens. Spontaneous resolution of acute HCV infection may occur in 15% to 50% of patients. Monitoring for spontaneous clearance for a minimum of 6 months before initiating any treatment is therefore recommended.

References
  • World Health Organization. Hepatitis C: fact sheet. Available at . Updated: October 2017 Accessed: January 23, 2018.

  • Frank C, Mohamed MK, Strickland GT, et al. The role of parenteral antischistosomal therapy in the spread of hepatitis C virus in Egypt. Lancet. 2000 Mar 11. 355:887-91. .

  • Kim A. Hepatitis C virus. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Sep 6. 165 :ITC33-ITC48. .

  • Recommended Reading: What Is The Blood Test For Hepatitis C

    Questions For Your Doctor

    When you visit the doctor, you may want to ask questions to get the information you need to manage your hepatitis C. If you can, have a family member or friend take notes. You might ask:

  • What kinds of tests will I need?
  • Are there any medications that might help?
  • What are the side effects of the medications you might prescribe?
  • How do I know when I should call the doctor?
  • How much exercise can I get, and is it all right to have sex?
  • Which drugs should I avoid?
  • What can I do to prevent the disease from getting worse?
  • How can I avoid spreading hepatitis C to others?
  • Are my family members at risk for hepatitis C?
  • Should I be vaccinated against other types of hepatitis?
  • How will you keep tabs on the condition of my liver?
  • Who Is Most At Risk Of Contracting Hepatitis C

    Getting Ready for Hepatitis C Treatment

    You have a high risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:

    • use or have used injection drugs even if it was just once or many years ago
    • have received blood or blood products or an organ transplant before July 1990 in Canada
    • have been in jail or
    • have been injected or scratched during vaccination, surgery, blood transfusion or a religious/ceremonial ritual in regions where hepatitis C is common.

    You have a high moderate risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:

    • have tattoos or body piercing
    • have multiple sexual partners
    • have a sexually transmitted infection , including HIV or lymphogranuloma venereum
    • have experienced traumatic sex or rough sex or have used sex toys or fisting that can tear body tissue
    • have vaginal sex during menstruation
    • have received a kidney treatment
    • have received an accidental injury from a needle or syringe
    • have another infectious disease
    • were born to a hepatitis C infected mother or
    • have a sexual partner infected with hepatitis C.

    Hepatitis C is NOT passed from person to person by:

    • coughing, sneezing
    • breastfeeding unless your nipples are cracked and bleeding or
    • oral sex, unless blood is present.

    Read Also: What Is The Definition Of Hepatitis B

    Who Should Have A Test For Hepatitis C

    In the United States, the recommend that most adults over 18 years, and pregnant women undergo screening at least once.

    A doctor may also recommend testing at least once for people who:

    • have HIV
    • have ever injected drugs or shared needles or other equipment, even if it was only once, a long time ago
    • have had certain medical conditions or undergone transplants and other treatments in the past
    • have had a needlestick or other injury while working in healthcare or public safety setting
    • were born to a mother who had HCV

    A healthcare professional may advise a person to have regular screening if they:

    • currently inject drugs, and share needles and other equipment
    • have specific medical conditions

    People who have been in prison or have tattoos and piercings may require HCV testing, depending on the circumstances.

    If a person thinks they have had exposure to someone who has HCV, they should speak to their doctor about screening.

    How Do I Repair Liver Damage Thats Been Done From Hepatitis C

    The repair process comes in two forms how you move your body and what you put into it. Exercise is a great way to help your body to heal, as long as you find the balance between working your muscles safely and not overdoing it.

    Many choose to begin walking and will increase the pace, distance, and time spent as their bodies become stronger. Others choose another form of exercise, such as swimming. If you are uncertain how to begin, many local gyms offer low cost or free trial memberships and have staff available to discuss how you can gain body strength without injuring yourself by trying to do too much too soon.

    In addition to regular physical activity, liver repair requires healthy foods so that your body can heal. This is the time to focus your grocery shopping on the produce aisle. Here, youll find broccoli and spinach , tomatoes , asparagus and watermelon , and more. In the more middle aisles of the store, youll find healthy whole grains, such as brown rice and spices and seasonings, such as garlic and cayenne pepper .

    By filling your cart and your body with these nutrients and drinking lots of water, youll be sending nutrients to your liver and helping to flush toxins out. You cannot magically fix your liver, but you can provide it with the nutrients it needs to heal and do your best not to further tax or stress it while your body works to heal the damage.

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    Who Is At Risk Of Getting Hepatitis C

    Those at risk of getting hepatitis C include people who:

    • received a blood transfusion before 1992
    • have had tattoos or body piercing, especially in unlicensed facilities or with unsterile equipment
    • have had a needle stick injury in the course of their work, such as health professionals who have been accidentally pierced with a used needle
    • have lived in, or received healthcare, in South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East or Eastern Europe
    • have been in prison and used unsterile needles or been involved in unsafe tattooing practice
    • have lived in close contact with a person diagnosed with hepatitis C
    • were born to a mother with hepatitis C .

    While sexual transmission of hepatitis C is rare, it is possible. Having a sexually transmitted disease or HIV, sex with multiple partners or rough sex appears to increase a persons risk for hepatitis C.

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